Gasoline prices are unfair. Both the corporations and the government are taking unfair advantage of the consumer by limiting supply and keeping prices high. Consumers are getting pumped at the pump!
There are many reasons why gasoline prices are unfair. A poll of my classmates showed that 22 out of 24, or 92 percent, of students felt that gasoline prices were too high. When asked, my teacher Mrs. Brody believed that prices were too high. The California Assembly Transportation Committee agrees with our students and teacher, and is currently holding hearings about high gasoline prices throughout the state. Also, a recent Los Angeles Times article agrees that prices are unfair, and states that gasoline taxes are too high, accounting for 27 percent of the price at the pump, which exceeds the cost of refining gasoline at 16 percent.
Gasoline corporation spokespersons say that prices are fair. They say that corporations have no control over the higher price they have to pay for crude oil in the world markets. The spike in prices for crude oil is temporary, due to OPEC’s limitation on the pumping of crude oil, and the problems associated with the aftermath of the Iraq war. Also, the supply has decreased and prices have risen because the Environmental Protection Agency and environmentalists have blocked the construction of new refineries.
Gasoline corporations are misleading the consumer in terms of fairness. The construction of new refineries is not the problem that affects supply, because refineries are not producing gasoline at their full capacity. One way they limit production of gasoline is to schedule the maintenance of many refineries at the same time. Also, the corporate arguments fail to account for why gasoline prices for the same octane gasoline are different between states. For example, why is the average price paid for gasoline cheaper for the 30 states that voted for George Bush in the 2000 elections, than for the 20 states that voted for Al Gore?
In conclusion, gasoline prices are unfair because corporations have taken advantage of the consumer by limiting the production of gasoline to justify raising prices. The government has contributed to the problem of high prices by overtaxing gasoline at the pump. Both the corporations and the government should stop taking advantage of the consumer, and stop them from getting pumped at the pump!
Derek Krueger is a fifth-grade student at Turtle Rock Elementary.